Can Drinking Alcohol Affect Fertility?

Can Drinking Alcohol Affect Fertility?

There is no doubt about the fact that alcohol consumption can affect your fertility. Not just that, it can have adverse effects on your baby. This is no news. Health experts have been talking about the effects that alcoholism can have on the reproductive system. Mind you, the male as well as the female partner can be affected by alcohol abuse. Hence, neither should consume too much alcohol. If you are facing fertility issues already, the first thing you should do is stop drinking alcohol. Also, it’d be shocking for most to know that even moderate alcohol consumption is harmful. Recent studies have proved that. This is the reason why you should talk to your doctor about your alcoholism beforehand so that you are advised about managing it. You should do this before thinking about conception so that you are directed in the right way right from the start. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

Drinking too much

Not many people realize that they are drinking too much. Not many people can actually distinguish between mild, moderate, and alcohol abuse. Know that a glass of wine, or a beer, or a mixed drink consists of 15g or half an ounce of absolute alcohol. If you drink four, five, or six drinks each day, you consume around 60g to 90g of alcohol. This is moderate abuse of alcohol. If you consume more than eight drinks, it is referred to as alcoholism. That amounts to 120g per day.

How it Affects Female Fertility

If you are trying to conceive and you are an alcohol abuser, you should stop immediately. You should know of the effects that alcohol could have on your fertility. Remember it is not just your fertility. Even if you manage to get pregnant, risks of miscarriage and abortion will be high. Risks of the fetus not growing and developing properly will also be very high. Thus, for alcohol abusers there is risk at every step of conception and pregnancy. Alcoholism or moderate alcohol abuse can lead to hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian dysfunction. This problem will lead to numerous other problems right from no periods or amenorrhea, no ovulation or anovulation, defect in the luteal phase, and hyperprolactinemia. Even if you get pregnant, your baby is at the risk of still birth, and premature birth along with the risks aforementioned.

Alcohol abuse and ovarian function

Alcohol abuse can cause dysfunctions related to ovaries as well. If you already have problems relating to infertility such as lack of ovulation, you should keep as far away from alcohol as possible.

Fetal alchohol syndrome

You might also suffer from a syndrome known as fetal alcohol syndrome. This syndrome was described in 1973 by Jones. In this syndrome, the fetus faces growth problems, mental retardation, behavioral problems, and a strange facial appearance of the baby, which is heart-shaped. This is not it. Children can suffer from brain abnormalities and congenital heart defects too if you drink alcohol right before pregnancy or during the course of pregnancy. The occurrence rate of this syndrome is very high [about 40%] in children who are born to alcoholic women. After genetic causes, alcohol abuse is the main reason why children suffer from mental retardation. There is no ‘safe level’ of drinking for pregnant ladies and mothers of newborns. Hence it must be avoided completely.

How it Affects Male Fertility

Alcohol abuse in men will cause the estrogen levels to rise significantly and also interfere with the normal functioning of the liver. This in turn will affect hormonal levels and have adverse effects on the development of sperm. The testicles contain cells that generate sperm and these cells are affected by alcohol. Alcohol can literally kill these cells. Thus, sperm production will be affected. Sperm development usually takes three months. Thus, if you have been diagnosed with low sperm count and if you drink alcohol, you should stop and have the sperm count checked after three months of complete abstinence to see if there is an improvement.

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Maureen Stephens, BS, RN
Maureen Stephens, BS, RN | ConceiveEasy
Ms. Stephens has spent over twenty years in the healthcare world, specializing in obstretical and medical/surgical nursing. She joined ConceiveEasy as she has a strong interest in educating and empowering women and promoting fertility awareness.